Nolan seeks urgent action as horticulture peat crisis deepens
Independent TD for Laois-Offaly Carol Nolan has said that the scale of the imminent threat facing the horticulture sector is a direct consequence of policy incoherence at the heart of government.
Deputy Nolan was speaking after she attended a protest at Leinster House on the lack of available peat and excavate products for the sector that was organised by the Irish Farmers Association:
“We are now at the point where there is genuine and overwhelming alarm within the sector at the inability of government to rise and meet the existential challenges that are coming down the tracks.
"We have the Minister of State, Peter Burke, clearly stating in the Seanad that the situation for the sector is intolerable, and that he is working to streamline the planning element of the substitute consent process.
'But the same Minister, in the same speech, then went on to accept that it is the lack of clear policy from the Department of Climate, Environment and Communication that is contributing to the continuation of the crisis, particularly with respect to an alternative regime being in place that would allow peat to be extracted.
"It is simply beyond comprehension how such confused and destructive thinking has been allowed to develop to this point; a point where we are importing vital peat and excavate products that are readily available on our own doorsteps.
"Government must get its act together and make immediate moves to save this sector before it withers and dies before our eyes,” concluded Deputy Nolan.